- Project plans
- Project activities
- Legislation and standards
- Industry context
Last edited 28 Dec 2017
Contractor's proposals for building design and construction
The phrase 'contractor's proposals' generally refers to documentation prepared by tenderers for design and build projects or on a traditional contract where the tenderer is to design discrete parts of the works. They are prepared in response to employer's requirements which provide a description of the client's requirements, including the specification for the building, the scope of services required and an allocation of risk for unknown items.
The level of detail in the employer's requirements and the extent of design required from the tenderer is very variable. Employers requirements can range from a very simple specification to a fully developed performance specification and concept design.
The procurement process may follow either a single-stage or two-stage processes. A single-stage tender process is suitable where the information presented in the employer's requirements is sufficiently well developed for the tenderer to be able to calculate a realistic price. This can be the case either if a concept design has already been prepared by consultants working for the client, or if the building is very straight-forward, in which case much of the design work might be carried out by the tenderer during the tender process.
A two-stage tender process is suitable where the employer's requirements are not sufficiently well developed for the tenderer to be able to calculate a realistic price. In this case, the tender may include a fee for designing the building along with a schedule of rates that can be used to establish the construction price for the second-stage tender.
- Design drawings or a building information model.
- Method statements.
- A BIM execution plan if building information modelling is being used.
- A programme.
- The tender price and contract sum analysis.
- Details of inconsistencies between the contractor's proposals and the employer's requirements.
- Any proposed provisional sums.
- Proposed sub-contractors (the contractor may only sub-contract parts of the works with the consent of the client, although this consent cannot be unreasonably withheld).
- Details of insurances.
- Curriculum vitae of staff along with a summary of their relevant experience on similar projects.
- An initial construction phase plan.
Once the client has received the contractor's proposals, there is likely to be period of negotiation during which any inconsistencies between the contractor's proposals and the employer's requirements are discussed and either the contractor's proposals or the employer's requirements are amended to ensure agreement between them. This is a very important part of the tender process as it is not always entirely clear which document prevails after the contract has been entered into.
 Find out more
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
- BIM execution plan.
- Construction phase plan.
- Contract sum analysis.
- Design and build.
- Employer's agent.
- Employer's information requirements (BIM).
- Employer's requirements.
- Method statement.
- Procurement route.
- Provisional sum.
- Supply chain capability summary (BIM).
- Two stage tender.
 External references
Featured articles and news
Dublin housing crisis restricts employers' ability to recruit, according to new U+I research.
Intricate inlays and beautiful patterns can be created with waterjet cutting.
Two historic quarries in environmentally sensitive areas were reopened to repair Exeter Cathedral.
The phrase ‘time at large’ describes the situation where there is no date for completion, or it has become invalid.
The Maldives is under threat from climate change. Read this report from BRE on their potential involvement in the region.
MHCLG update states there are still 124 private high-rise buildings with unsafe cladding and no remediation plan.
Starting a new built environment degree? We have a wide range of resources aimed at students.
Former railway chief James Blake says trust and control are key to successful infrastructure projects.
Do you know your Rococo from your De Stijl, your Gothic from your Post-modernist?
May outlines a new funding strategy for housing associations and says the 'stigma' of social housing needs to end.